At this time last year Sam Economy was recovering from a hockey-related injury, and while he was optimistic of a full recovery in time for baseball season, nothing was certain for the Hampden Academy center fielder.
Now, the Broncos’ senior is not only back on the ice, he’s also looking forward to his final year of high school baseball — already knowing he’ll have the chance to play in college.
Economy is set to attend Clarion University, an NCAA Division II school located approximately an hour north of Pittsburgh, where he plans to play ball while studying business marketing in an accelerated five-year master’s program.
“Pretty much after my sophomore year I knew I wanted to play baseball in college,” said Economy, who will receive athletic and merit-based financial support. “It’s really always been a dream of mine so just to get this opportunity fulfills my dream.”
Economy has established himself as one of the top defensive outfielders in the region, both at the high school level and during the summer. Last year he helped the R.H. Foster Hampden Riverdogs capture their first Senior American Legion state championship.
“I could not tell you how many hits that kid has stolen and how much range he has in center field,” said McLean Poulin, Economy’s former high school coach at Hampden Academy. “There were so many balls hit into gaps where assistant coaches and myself and anybody else in the dugout would look at each other and say that’s a double if not a triple, and the next thing you know Sam’s catching it.”
Economy has batted leadoff at Hampden Academy for the last two seasons and helped the Broncos’ earn the No. 2 seed in Class A North last spring.
“He’s extremely smart, especially when it comes to being on the basepaths,” Poulin said. “He reads pitchers and he reads tendencies very well. He’s one of the best at being able to steal third on his own because he gets such good jumps because he reads the pitchers so well.”
Economy’s attraction to baseball should come as no surprise. His father Peter played for Hampden Academy and in the American Legion ranks, while his mom Kelly played softball at Machias. His sister Sara pitches for the HA softball team.